Research topics in public administration, dispute resolution, and community development can be very interdisciplinary in nature and therefore there really isn't one "best database" to search. Instead, it is recommended you start your research by using a multidisciplinary search tool like the Library's Summon "Search" tool, or Google Scholar (see boxes below). This will help you get a sense of the literature that exists on your topic, both from within the Library's collection, as well as what's available on the open Internet.
Beyond Summon and Google Scholar, the Library does have a few individual databases that are listed as "best bets" for public administration and related topics, which you can also explore.
Summon 2.0 -- UVic Libraries' search engine
Summon is the Library's Google-like search tool. The difference is that Summon only searches the Library's collection, which includes records for UVic books, ebooks, articles, conference proceedings, theses and dissertations, videos, and more. A single search in Summon can return records from all of these sources.
Some advantages over Google Scholar:
If you are unfamiliar with terminology or a topic, a dictionary or encyclopedia can be a good place to start as they can help orient you to the literature. Encyclopedias are particularly useful as they will often include a bibliography of seminal works in the area. Below are just a few examples of these resources. To find more like this, use the Summon search tool and then filter your search to the 'Content Type' --> Reference